Monday, December 08, 2008
14:45 Mecca time, 11:45 GMT      
Pakistan 'arrests Mumbai suspects'

India has blamed Lashkar for the co-ordinated
attacks on Mumbai [EPA]

A number of people have been arrested after Pakistani forces raided a camp said 
to be used by the group India blames for the co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai, 
according to intelligence officials.

Witnesses said the raid was carried out on Sunday, close to the town of 
Muzaffarabad in the Pakistani-controlled territory of the disputed Kashmir 

It would be the first in response to the Mumbai attacks, which Indian officials 
say were carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba, an outlawed Pakistani group.

Some reports said that there had been a brief exchange of fire as the raid 

There was no immediate official confirmation of the incident.

The Associated Press news agency reported unnamed fighters from the group as 
saying the camp was abandoned by Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2004 and had since been 
used by Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the group's parent organisation, for education and 
charity work.

"Clearly the Pakistan government is responding to the international demand that 
any group that is using either Pakistan soil or areas under its control and is 
involved in activities beyond the pail of international law needs to be dealt 
with sternly," Talat Hussain, the director of news at the local AAJ television 
network, told Al Jazeera.


"There are reports that security forces including military personnel went into 
the area," Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder reported from Islamabad.

"But the government is tight-lipped about it ... and so far there is nothing 
significant," he said.

"There is speculation that these are preliminary investigations into what the 
activities of Jamaat-ud-Dawa in that particular region are all about."

News of the arrests emerged hours after Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of 
state, urged Pakistan to act quickly and said there was evidence the country 
was used by "non-state actors" to mount the attacks.

"I do think that Pakistan has a responsibility to act," Rice said in a 
television interview.

Islamabad has denied any of its state agencies were involved in the Mumbai 
attacks, which left more than 170 people dead, but has said it is prepared to 
co-operate with India if authorities prove the attackers came from Pakistan.

Lashkar-e-Taiba has also denied any role in the deadly rampage, but the only 
surviving suspected attacker named one of the group's leaders as being behind 
the Mumbai plot, according to Indian officials.

Earlier on Sunday, the Pakistan government declined to comment on a report that 
it had agreed to a 48-hour deadline set by the US and India to hand over 
Pakistanis suspected of involvement in the attacks and form a plan of action 
against Lashkar-e-Taiba.
 Source:     Al Jazeera and agencies

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